Welcome to the Warm Colors Apiary website. WCA produces and sells honey, pure beeswax candles, and products using honey and beeswax. We provide pollination services to local orchards and farms. Beekeepers can purchase queens and honeybees, and attend workshops in the Warm Colors bee yards. In other words, most activities involving honeybees happen at our apiary.
Watch a video interview of Dan Conlon on WGBY (September, 2019)
Warm Colors Apiary was founded in 2000 to produce regional honey from flowers in western Massachusetts. Located on eighty acres of woodland, open fields, and wetlands, the land provides a variety and abundance of nectar & pollen plants that bloom from early spring to late fall. Having a location with flowering plants blooming successively throughout the warm months makes our apiary ideal for honey production and the raising of honeybees.
Our mission is to develop, test and use beekeeping methods that improve the health of the honeybee. Through selective breeding, we endeavor to manage a sustainable apiary system that minimizes the use of harmful chemicals and employ the natural defenses and heritable behaviors shown to improve the honeybees mite tolerance and resistance to disease.
Our goals include raising honeybees capable of surviving the rigors of a New England winter and having the individual & social immunities to withstand the stresses associated with honeybee decline. Our work focuses on using the best available breeding stock, providing natural sources of forage and nutrition, and the early detection and prevention of disease and pests. Proactive management that reduces stress and the resulting problems, before they become too serious to correct, is our long-range goal.
BEE SALES for 2020:
We are no longer taking orders for bees. Queens will be available from April until August.
- Russian Queens will be available in May.
- We have sold out of Russian packages and 5-frame Nucs for 2020.
EAS 2021 – Eastern Apicultural Society, Get ready Massachusetts as we plan to host the 2021 EAS conference. This is the premier beekeeping event that includes all states east of the Mississippi River and Eastern Canada. Massachusetts is one of the original five founding states that created EAS.
2020 Franklin County & University of Massachusetts Annual Beekeeper’s Field Day. Saturday, June 13th (9 AM-4 PM) at the UMASS Agricultural Center, N. Pleasant St. Amherst. Practical Beekeeping presentations, Beekeeping suppliers, and Massachusetts Bee Association meeting. Free and 0pen to all beekeepers – association membership not required.
Franklin County Beekeepers’ Association – meetings are the 3rd Thursday of the month 7-9 PM. Senior Center, South Deerfield, MA. Meetings are open to all beekeepers. Upcoming meetings:
February 20th – South Deerfield Senior Center 7 – 9 PM. “Raising Queens for the Backyard Beekeeper” Bob Hickey (Norfolk County) will present methods for “Raising Queens using the Snellgrove Board”. This is for the small apiary when you want to continue your best genetics from proven Queens, and only need a few each season.
March 19th – South Deerfield Senior Center 7 – 9 PM. “Beeswax Products” learn how to prepare wax. FCBA members will show how to make products.
Russian Honey Bee Breeders Association (RHBBA) October 31st-November 1st, 2019 Baton Rouge, LA. The annual meeting of RHBBA at the ARS-USDA Bee Lab.
Eastern Apicultural Society Conference – August 3rd – 7th, 2020. University of Maine, Orono, ME. Visit the EAS website for information.
WCA OPEN HOURS: Regular Apiary Hours are on Wednesday, Friday & Saturdays 10 AM – 4 PM. Hours are subject to change. Please call 413-665-4513 and listen to our phone message for weekly updates.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING DATES: We will be closed on the following days to participate in the following events:
Closed: Wednesday 2/12/2020 through Wednesday 3/4/2020. Re-open on Friday 3/6/20. Hours: 10 AM – 4 PM.
2020 Workshop schedule – see the workshop page.
Beekeeping can start young. Dan shows a future beekeeper the queen bee.
- Dan Conlon interview on “Beekeeping Today” with Kim Flottum: Dan Conlon: It’s All About The Russians (Russian honey bees, that is)
- Warm Colors Apiary has received the 2018 “Local Hero Award” (farmer of the year) from CISA (Community Involved in Sustainable Agriculture) and a Congressional Award recognizing Warm Colors Apiary for our outstanding and invaluable service to the community from Congressman James McGovern. Bonita & I appreciate these honors from people and organizations we respect and support. CISA and Congressman McGovern promote nutrition, farms, and access to fresh foods for all Massachusetts residents. We share their philosophy that all people deserve fresh, nutritious food. We thank CISA and Congressman McGovern for their ongoing commitment to making local food available to all citizens.
Queen test yard #1
For the Beekeepers
Warm Colors is no longer maintaining an inventory of beekeeping equipment at our South Deerfield store. We will continue to sell a limited amount of equipment (only items we use in our apiaries). As our apiary has grown so has the time required to maintain our bees, produce honey and provide service to our honey customers. Getting out of equipment sales allows more time for our beekeeping. The core of our business remains honey production & raising honey bees.
We recommend ordering from the following equipment suppliers:
Starhart Hollow – Colrain, Massachusetts. 413-824-2657, Starharthollow@yahoo.com Locally manufactured beekeeping equipment.
Betterbee Inc. – Greenwich, New York. Full-line of bee equipment & supplies. Friendly service and sound beekeeping advice.
Mann Lake Inc. – Pennsylvania & Minnesota. Full-line of services, shipping included with purchase over $100.
Knowledge + Management = healthy bees.